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Old 06-16-2008, 08:41 AM   #1
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Fred, Wilma and Family do Disney - Day 11

Fred, Wilma and Family do Disney Day 11 – Aquatica – is it all it’s cracked up to be?

Monday 21st April

Today we were off to Aquatica. The plan for today was to arrive at 9:30 – although the park was scheduled to open at 10, we had been told that it had been so busy in previous weeks that it had been opening early. We arrived at about 9:15 and waited, with a few other cars, to get into the car park. Finally, at 9:30, they let us in. We paid the $10 to park and got a great spot right near the entrance. We headed for the entrance, in the hope that we could pick up a map and plan where we would set up camp for the day before they let us in. No such luck! There were no maps available outside the park and it was complete bedlam. There were no lines to get in, just a sea of people. And, worse than that, they made us all wait until about 9:45, when they finally opened the bag checks. Then, all they did was check a few people and let them through to the turnstiles, where they were stopped again. Eventually, at 9:55, they started letting us through, only to be stopped yet again just inside the park. There were so many people and the lines were getting really long. There was just a sea of people in every direction – it was horrendous.

Finally, we were allowed in. We stopped to get a map and then just went straight down to the beach area, where we grabbed some chairs and loungers under umbrellas in the shade. I had wanted to be near to the childrens area but there were so many people, it made sense to just get settled somewhere. The main thing we all wanted to do was the Dolphin Plunge slide. I was concerned that Daniel wouldn’t be tall enough but the map said the height restriction was 43” so that was great. Off we went, only to get to the entrance and find that the minimum height was actually 48”. We were so disappointed. The girls were good enough to say that they would take Daniel somewhere else so Gary and I could go on. We waited a little while (probably about 15 minutes), then it was our turn – well, all I can say is what an anticlimax. First, the slide itself was really uncomfortable – loads of ridges that really hurt your bum. Secondly, you are going so fast and there’s so much spray, you can’t even see the dolphins. We found out later that you can get a much better view of them simply by going round the lazy river.

We returned to the beach area, where Chuck and Reeny were coating themselves with sunscreen. No sign of the kids. We waited for a little while and they didn’t return so Gary and I went to explore and try some of the other slides. We went on a couple of others (can’t remember which ones, sorry) then had a look around the kids’ area, which looked like great fun. Back at the beach, we found Sian sat by herself. Rea and Daniel had gone exploring but Sian was annoyed with Reeny because she had put her bag in the locker but wouldn’t let her have the key and she needed to get something out of her bag. I sorted that problem out and then we waited for Rea and Daniel to come back.

All of us then went on the rapids, which was great fun. This part of Aquatica really is the best bit. We ended up spending most of our time here. We did go back to the kids’area but a lot of older kids were shooting water at the little kids and it was too much for Daniel. He did a couple of the little slides and then we went back to the rapids.

At lunchtime, we all had sandwiches, which were made freshly and were really delicious – it made a nice change from fries and chicken.

The rest of the day was spent going between the rapids and the slightly slower lazy river (I’m sure it’s not called that but I can’t remember the name). We got chatting with another family who were sat near us on the beach. The Dad was in Orlando on business and had brought his wife and kids along – nice job if you can get it!

We had some ice-creams a bit later but, by 4 o’clock, we had all had enough and were ready to go. I had been really good about keeping Daniel covered in sunscreen but, as usual, hadn’t bothered too much myself and was turning a nice shade of cerise. Sian had also caught the sun quite badly on her shoulders and back so we called it a day.

All in all, we had a good day at Aquatica but I think we prefer the Disney water parks, particularly Typhoon Lagoon. Having said that, the rapids were really great fun and we might return in the future once the initial novelty has worn off for people and it is less crowded. It is worth mentioning as well that I stopped by Guest Services on the way out, to mention the height restriction being wrong for the Dolphin Plunge, only to be told that they knew the maps were printed wrong but they had loads they ‘want to get rid of’ before they get more printed. Also, bear in mind that if you get a locker, the deposit you pay, you don’t get back in cash, only a Sea World credit voucher for that amount. We ended up using ours to get a couple of drinks to take with us otherwise we’d have lost out.

We went to Friendlys for dinner again – we love this place – and then back to Old Key West for a quiet night. Plenty of after-sun was called for. Poor Sian was really suffering.

Sorry, no photos today so I thought I’d post some more of Old Key West

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Old 06-16-2008, 08:53 AM   #2
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The opening sounds madness. I don't think its right that they give you your deposit back in vouchers as then surely its not a deposit as you are forced to spend the money with them.
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:00 AM   #3

I am sooo proud, happy, relieved and impressed - it's a great day...
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Lovely OKW photos, Joh! I'd definitely like to stay there one day...

I'm in two minds about Aquatica - I think I thought it was going to be like DC where they restrict entrance to 1000 people...
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Old 06-16-2008, 09:21 AM   #4
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OKW looks lovely Joh Aquatica sounds like fun, but I'm not over keen on waterparks (though I love Blizzard Beach)

I'm looking forward to your next installment
Mandy xx

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Old 06-16-2008, 10:13 AM   #5
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I think we can safely cross aquatica off the list !
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Old 06-16-2008, 11:40 AM   #6
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Great trip reports.

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Old 06-16-2008, 01:15 PM   #7
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Oh Joh,it did'nt sound too good Aquatica did it?.The pictures of OKW look great though.x.

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Old 06-16-2008, 01:51 PM   #8
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shame about Aquatica issues. hopefully it will calm down once 'the rush' has died down great piccies.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:20 AM   #9
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Shame about Aquatica, lovely photos of OKW.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:52 AM   #10
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Lovely day.
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Old 06-17-2008, 02:54 AM   #11

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Great photos, I hope aquatica improves quickly DS has chosen to spend his birthday here in July
Rachel "Play up Pompey, Pompey Play up"

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Old 06-17-2008, 02:39 PM   #12
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Oh dear, sounds like Aquatica is a wee bit un-organised...., great pics though

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Old 06-17-2008, 03:40 PM   #13
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I think I'll stick to the WDW water parks!!!
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Old 06-18-2008, 06:33 AM   #14
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As a non-swimmer, water-parks are never top of my list of things to do, but I did think I might venture to Aquatica for a nose around. All the reports I've read pretty much mirror yours, so it's now firmly assigned to the "ones to miss" list.

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Old 07-13-2008, 12:07 PM   #15
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Not keen on water parks and I don't think we will be rushing to this new park.

Thanks for the heads up.

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